Port of Spain, W.I. (April 16, 2018) The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today applauds the move by the Trinidad and Tobago High Court to declare the buggery law — a Colonial-era anti-LGBT law — unconstitutional “This is a welcome development for the Caribbean and I hope other countries will follow,” said Caribbean Regional Director for AHF, Dr. Kevin Harvey.
The High Court of Trinidad and Tobago handed down a ruling on Thursday April 12 that declared unconstitutional Sections 13 and 16 of the country’s Sexual Offences Act that prohibit same-sex relations.
“HIV/AIDS administrators across the Caribbean have for years been pointing out that the buggery law impedes the success of initiatives to reduce HIV/AIDS transmission and offer adequate treatment and care. It also adds to discrimination which prevents certain groups from coming forward to receive the care and treatment they may need,” Dr. Harvey explained.
“The removal of this impediment will do a lot for efforts to redress incidents of stigma and discrimination as well as formulate and action policies against discrimination. This we believe will enable a more inclusive environment, allowing persons to take full advantage of the HIV/AIDS services available in their country,” Dr. Harvey pointed out.
Meanwhile, Southern Bureau Chief for AHF Caribbean, South and Central America, Michael Kahane, said the development augers well for advocacy for inclusiveness with respect to persons’ ability to freely access HIV/AIDS services especially those in high risk groups. “This is a step in the right direction as it relates to reducing and eventually eliminating stigma and discrimination,” he said.